What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free online tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence on Google. It provides a platform for businesses to create a business profile that includes important information such as business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, photos, and reviews. GMB listings are displayed on Google Search and Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find and connect with local businesses. GMB also offers features such as posts, messaging, bookings, insights, and local advertising options, which businesses can utilize to engage with customers, optimize their online visibility, and grow their business.
What are the reasons to use Google My Business?
The benefits to using Google My Business are many. Here are the top 10 reasons why your business should be utilizing this powerful platform:
- Improved online visibility: GMB allows your business to appear in Google search results and Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you online, especially for local searches.
- Accurate business information: You can provide up-to-date and accurate information about your business, such as your name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and more, ensuring that customers can easily access accurate information about your business.
- Customer engagement: GMB provides features like reviews, questions and answers, and messaging, allowing you to interact with customers, respond to reviews, answer questions, and provide information, building customer relationships and improving customer service.
- Business insights: GMB offers valuable insights and analytics, such as the number of views, searches, and actions taken on your listing, helping you understand customer behavior, preferences, and trends, and informing your marketing strategies and decision-making.
- Mobile visibility: GMB, integrated with Google Maps, helps your business be visible to customers who are using mobile devices for searching and navigating, increasing the chances of attracting customers who are on the go.
- Showcasing products and services: GMB allows you to showcase your products, services, and special offers, helping you highlight your offerings and attract potential customers.
- Online reputation management: With GMB, you can manage and respond to customer reviews, helping you build and maintain a positive online reputation, which can impact customer trust and credibility.
- Local search optimization: GMB helps optimize your business for local searches, allowing you to appear in Google's local search results and Google Maps, which can drive more targeted and relevant traffic to your business.
- Free marketing tool: GMB is a free tool provided by Google, making it a cost-effective way to establish and manage your online presence without incurring additional costs, making it ideal for small and local businesses.
- Google My Business website: GMB provides a free website builder, allowing you to create a simple website for your business within the GMB platform, which can serve as an additional online presence for your business.
How do I get started with Google My Business?
Getting started with Google My Business is easy. Follow these steps:
- Create a Google account: If you don't already have one, you'll need a Google account to use Google My Business. You can sign up for a free Google account at https://accounts.google.com/signup.
- Go to Google My Business: Once you have a Google account, go to the Google My Business website at https://www.google.com/business/ and click on the "Manage Now" button to get started.
- Enter your business information: Follow the prompts to enter your business information, such as the business name, address, phone number, website, and category. It's important to provide accurate and complete information to ensure that your business listing is accurate and searchable.
- Verify your business: Google requires you to verify your business to ensure that you are the legitimate owner. You can choose to verify your business by mail, phone, email, or instant verification (if eligible). The verification process may take a few days or weeks, depending on the method you choose.
- Optimize your business listing: Once your business is verified, you can optimize your Google My Business listing by adding more details, such as business hours, photos, description, services, and products. You can also set up messaging, enable bookings, and respond to reviews to engage with customers.
- Keep your information up-to-date: It's important to regularly review and update your business information on Google My Business to ensure that it remains accurate and relevant. You can update your hours of operation, add new photos, respond to customer reviews, and make other changes as needed.
- Utilize additional features: Google My Business offers additional features, such as posts, insights, and Google My Business website, that can help you further enhance your online presence and engage with customers. Take advantage of these features to make the most out of your Google My Business listing.
That's it! Following these steps will help you get started with Google My Business and establish an online presence for your business on Google's search results and Google Maps. Remember to regularly manage and update your business listing to ensure that it remains accurate and effective in attracting customers.
Need help setting up or maintaining a Google My Business Page? Reach out to HINS & Co. and we can affordably get you set up online.